Effects of stretching exercise with a stretching-support cushion on flexibility in over middle-aged women

Yusuke Osawai, Yuko O.A. Gum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Recently, stretching-support cushions (SC) have become available for use during stretching exercises in the seated position. However, the effects of a SC consisting of a 20-deg posterior support cushion on flexibility-related outcomes when combined with stretching exercises are not well understood. Here, a randomized controlled trial involving 32 healthy over-middle aged women (56.9±7.4 years old) was performed to investigate the additional effects of stretching program with SC on the flexibility compared with the identical program without SC. METHODS: The participants were randomly assigned to stretching exercises with SC (EX-SC, N.=16) or the identical stretching exercises without SC (EX, N.=16). We investigated the additional effects of using SC on flexibility by measuring the degree of hip abduction, pelvic tilt, and maximum forward reaching distance, sit and reach test, and passive torque of right hamstrings during passive knee extension before and after the single session of program. RESULTS: After performing the stretching exercises with (EX-SC group) and without (EX group) the SC, significantly change in pelvic tilt in the seated straddle split position was observed in the EX-SC group (21.0±28.9 to 33.1±24.0 deg) compared with the EX group (22.1±20.8 to 26.9±22.8 deg; P<0.05). For all other flexibility-related parameters, only the time effects were significant (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, the present results suggest that use of a SC is beneficial for performing stretching exercises when seated to avoid a 'rounded-back position'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalGazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr


  • Articular
  • Muscle stretching exercises
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Range of motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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